I started a business in America, now I’m leading it from India because I can’t get a visa. I’m Sumit Suman, and today, I’m taking part in the March for Innovation. AMA.
I am the co-founder of Mentii, an online mentoring platform connecting successful mentors with aspiring young people. I started the business both in New York and Bangalore in order to benefit from capital, talent and the market across two startup hubs. But, as the co-founder of Mentii, it was imperative that I could work on the U.S. side. This is where the trouble began.
The whole visa process was an expensive distraction, especially during the early bootstrapped stage when the team needed to devote all their resources to finding and proving the market. After receiving a protracted Request For Evidence (RFE), where responding to it would have resulted in further legal expenses, I had no choice but to withdraw my visa application. This is despite the fact that Mentii had already invested 40 percent of their total expenditure on immigration-related costs!
Here is a video about my story, which you can see on Engine Advocacy’s website: http://engine.is/articles/startups-speak-sumit-suman. Ask Me Anything about Immigration Reform, my company, my story, and I’m glad to be here working for the March for Innovation (http://marchforinnovation.com) so that more people like me can start business in the U.S. and stay there.
I’ll be answering questions from 10am ET. AMA!
(And proof that it's me: https://twitter.com/arraysum/status/337560191040098305)
(Edit: added link to the March for Innovation so you can march too!)